Rizzo Back In Court; Witness Recounts Bell Pay Raises

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The infamous face of the Bell salary scandal returned to court on Monday after a brief medical scare, just in time to hear a star witness testify against him.

Former chief administrative officer Robert Rizzo was all smiles as he spoke with his co-defendants in a Los Angeles Superior Court room on Monday after being given a clean bill of health from chest pains that brought the preliminary hearings last week to a temporary halt.

But as KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports, a former colleague’s testimony on how Rizzo’s salary hit the stratosphere may ultimately dampen his sunny disposition.

Rizzo’s former chief of administrative services Lourdes Garcia — testifying with a grant of partial immunity — told of how Rizzo’s pay rose quickly to $1.37 million dollars annually.

Prosecutors are presenting evidence to Judge Henry Hall which they hope to use in trial.

The defense maintains the pay raises and loans were legal, and they will try to get the judge to dismiss the charges.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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